Got a late afternoon start so we set out for a quick, couple mile out and back on the Pacific Crest Trail (2000) also known as Timberline trail (600) behind the historic and grand Timberline Lodge. However, the Paradise Loop trail (757) marker about 4 miles in was too tempting to resist with its wildflower-sprinkled meadow and snow-crowned Mt. Hood in the distance.
Round trip distance : ~12 miles Elevation gain: ~2,300 feet Scenery: Oh, my!
Rating: Difficult (Length & areas of incline) Terrain: Easy (Running shoe-friendly.)
Not that the first 4 miles wasn’t scenic too. Views of Mount Jefferson and the Three Sisters to the south accompany you along the way. And you pass several streams (waterfalls in other seasons), and impressive Zig Zag Canyon too.
This was an all-around stunning hike and a great workout too. Exhilarating and breathtaking in every sense of the word. I’ve always wanted to take the Timberline Trail around the circumference of Mt. Hood. (It’s a 38.4 mile hike with 8k elevation gain.) There are some ultra-runners who do it in a day. Most make a 3-5 day trip of it. There may be a return trip in my future. Will I be able to resist Paradise Loop next time? Probably not.
And now for a refreshing cocktail followed by a delectable feast and a luxurious night at my top pick Timberline Lodge.